REVIEW: After by Varian Krylov from eXcessica

Title: After
Author: Varian Krylov
Publisher: eXcessica
Website of Publisher: www.excessica.com
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Menage, Romance
Publication date:
Publisher's Rating: eXcess 4
ISBN: Unassigned
Length: Super-Novel
Format: e-book
Reviewer: WitchGiggles

Having survived on her own for two years since the Dying, Eva is stunned when she is captured by soldiers outside what is left of a military base. These men haven't seen or touched a woman in the years since, but have started to become less than they were.

Though only trying to keep the men in some kind of unity and retain a bit of humanity in a world gone mad, Major Avery Smith makes the decision that Eva will be given to John to start a new generation, little knowing that though young, Eva has not only intelligence, but a
strength that will defy and beat all of them.

John has lost much in the Dying, but in Eva sees a chance for a better future for all of them. In his own quiet, deliberate way he will support and protect Eva as she begins the struggle to better their lives and the lives of all the survivors in the compound.

Twenty years after the start in the east, across the country a young Resistance woman, Nix, is captured for subverting the sex laws and savagely punished before being imprisoned. But she is much the stronger than her captors and refuses to break, even when they give her to the one person they think will do the job they can't.

Gareth is a contradiction not even he himself can figure out, but he knows he must help the woman who has landed in the cell with him. So when his chance to escape comes, he takes her with him then helps her get to where she must go. Neither is sure they can trust the other and yet they have this insane urge to do so.

After is not a book which can be read in one sitting. It is a complicated study of men and women at both their best and worst…when choice has been stripped away and then alternate options discovered. I found it both dark and desperate twined round hopeful and optimistic with a dash of wit and humor sprinkled along to leaven it. The people and situations at times are so real that I clenched my teeth in anger, wiped my eyes in sorrow and simply shook my head in resignation at the futility of some of it. Varian Krylov has created a world that was in some instances far too real for my peace of mind with stunning clarity of expression and descriptions that created pictures all too visible in my mind. I hope none of us must ever face anything close to her creation. A definite must read.

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